Icing on the Cake — Part 1

Admit It!  You don’t just lose sleep over whether or not you’ll be admitted to the colleges you’re applying to.  You’re also thinking about whether or not you are eligible for scholarships.  So far, Admit It! has never really addressed our scholarships; what they are, how students apply, how they are selected, etc.  Well that ends now.  Welcome to the Icing on the Cake blog series.

First things first: scholarships and merit aid are the same thing; they are not to be confused with financial aid.  Scholarships are awarded based on merit (your actions, your successes, your individual academic and person qualifications); financial aid is based on need (in other words your family’s ability to pay the cost of tuition based on income and other financial factors).  Financial aid and merit aid are not awarded by the same process.  To apply for need-based financial aid students and families must complete additional materials and submit them to our Financial Aid Office (we currently require any student interested in need-based aid to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 1).  Merit aid is awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admission and is awarded regardless of a student’s finances.

So how do you apply for merit aid/scholarship at W&M?  Well that’s easy.  Just submit an application to William & Mary.  Yup, that’s it.  Every student who applies to William & Mary is reviewed for every scholarship we administer (keep in mind that athletic scholarships are awarded at the discretion of individual coaches).  For the most part, students are notified in their admission decision as to whether or not they received a scholarship.  We do not keep a waiting list for scholarships.  Some students who are admitted without a scholarship ask to be considered should those who were offered merit money choose to go to another school.  Just like with offers of admission, we make more offers of merit aid than we have money for knowing that some students will turn us down.

The next three blogs will provide more information about each of our merit-based scholarships and what characteristics we look for in awarding those scholarships.  Until then start thinking about your favorite frosting flavor for that cake icing.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

Categories: Admission, Faculty & Staff Blogs

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